Week 5 Analytic Post

Pamela Perry’s article “White Means Never Having to Say You’re Ethnic” is a good article for us to read and study since it provides a lot of her researches and arises the question for us to think mostly about whiteness with race. She interviewed two different schools and asked students to “describe white American culture”. I think Perry’s question is more about the culture identity with the problem of race identity. Two processes of reproducing whiteness as a social norm she describes are the naturalization and rationalization. Naturalization works when someone is white, the white culture is the norm and others who are not white should considered as difference. Rationalization is depriving white and white culture from other different cultures. Each of them works in different people and exists among a lot people.

To be honestly, my high school was not like any of the two schools that Perry studied. I’m an international student come from China. I studied in China of my high school. There were no other colored people in my class and even in my school, so that I did not meet the situation of what Perry described. While after I came to America and studied here in a campus with a lot different races, I could understand about what Perry tries to convey in the research. Contacting with other races people is a good experience. I think Perry’s research in two high schools could help us to understand the matter about the white norm. She also mentioned about the naturalization and rationalization process comes into play to preserve white hegemony in turn. I think that the more important thing is the race identity and the ways that how different groups of people see each other and see themselves.

One thought on “Week 5 Analytic Post

  1. I don’t know that I fully agree with your statement that naturalization works when someone is white. In this article sure you could say that statement because that is what we are looking at. But it is my understanding that naturalization ignores cultural diversity and ignores anything that deviates from the norm. In general, I do not think that it is just white people who have that trait. I think in most cases people feel that way because of the way they were raised by their families. If a person does something that is out of the norm a person may not like them just because of what they are doing. I think you can use the terms naturalization and rationalization and apply them to many other cultures and races too. So for your example, you studied high school in China, would it be weird to see someone in your school that is not Chinese or looked different being a predominately Chinese school?

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